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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Social Work

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    2 years full-time

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    Please visit website for details.

Course content

Drawing on current research across the social sciences, government guidance, and legislative frameworks, this degree focuses on the issues that are key in facilitating your professional and academic development as a social worker- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-social-work/

Why study MA Social Work at Goldsmiths?

-This Masters programme is ideal if you are a graduate, with relevant experience, interested in pursuing a professional career in social work

-It prepares you according to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency – Social Workers in England and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), the Quality Assurance Agency subject benchmark for social work, and the Department of Health's requirements for social work training

-Social work education at Goldsmiths has a long and distinguished record – we house one of the most respected social work units in the UK, and you will be taught by established social work academics and associate lecturers who have considerable research and/or practice experience in their fields

-Our social work programmes are highly regarded by potential employers within London and further afield, and our graduates have an excellent record of securing employment; they've gone on to work in local authority children's services departments, adult services departments, and independent sector and voluntary sector agencies such as the NSPCC, Family Action and Mind, and a recent graduate was named Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year

-We'll equip you with the knowledge, values and skills you'll need to practise as a reflective and ethical social worker, equipped for the challenges of contemporary social work practice

-You will cover areas of human growth and development; community; needs and services; law and organisational contexts of social work; and research methods. Specific learning will include mental health and disability, and social work processes of assessment, planning, intervention and review

-The Masters includes practice placements in two settings and with different service user groups, so you'll be able to gain invaluable real world experience

-We'll encourage you to think deeply about human rights and social justice, and to embed these values in your practice

-You will develop your skills for reflective and evidence-based practice and will be able to further your research mindedness

This programme is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council.

Excellence in practice and teaching

Goldsmiths has a long tradition of social work education, and our programmes are internationally regarded as excellent in both practice learning and critical studies. They also have a strong focus on anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice.

We have a lively programme of research taking place in areas as diverse as:

-the links between child abuse and domestic violence
-multi-family group work with teenage parents
-service user perspectives and transnational adoption
-mental health social workers' use of mental health laws and coercion
-equality and diversity in social work education
-the effects of political conflict on social work practice and education
-reflective professional social work practice
-evaluative approaches to service provision

Our research informs and underpins our teaching and students are invited to share our interests as well as develop their own through undertaking a small scale research project and developing their research mindedness in a final year extended essay.

Find out more about service user and carer involvement in social work education at Goldsmiths.

South East London Teaching Partnership

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies at Goldsmiths has recently entered into a formal Teaching Partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Southwark and the London Borough of Lewisham for the delivery of social work education at Goldsmiths.

We are one of only four sites across the country to have received government funding to develop and test new and innovative approaches to social work qualifying education, early career training and continuing professional development programmes. As a result, a significant number of social work practitioners, from all levels within these three local authorities, are involved in the MA Social Work programme, delivering or co-delivering lectures, workshops and seminars. This means that there is a very close relationship with practice to ensure that by the end of the programme students are equipped to deliver authoritative, compassionate, social work practice that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.

You will be encouraged to make links between anti-oppressive practice, social work values, the legal framework, theories, methods and skills of intervention and social work practice throughout the course.

Intake

The programme has an intake of around 35-40 students each year. Goldsmiths is committed in its policy and practice to equal treatment of applicants and students irrespective of their race, culture, religion, gender, disability, health, age or sexual orientation. We particularly welcome applications from members of minority groups.

The teaching includes lectures and workshops with the entire student group and small study groups, reflective practice discussion groups and seminars of between 10 and 14 students. A significant proportion of the course takes the form of small study groups and seminars.

The MA is a full-time course. It is not possible to study the course part-time. It is not possible for students to transfer from a social work course at another university onto the second year of the Goldsmiths MA in Social Work course.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor.

Modules & Structure

Successful applicants on the MA in Social Work commit to studying on a full-time taught course over two years. On successful completion you will receive a MA in Social Work which is the professional entry qualification to be a social worker and it enables you to apply for registration as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council.

The curriculum aims to provide you with the value, knowledge and skill base for practice and is organised around study units, workshops, lectures/seminar modules, projects and private study. The teaching and learning opportunities centre on the key areas of the social sciences and their application to Social Work practice, as well developing your intellectual capacity, and the skills necessary to get you ready for practice. There is an expectation that you attend at least 85% of all aspects of the programme.

The structured learning includes specific learning in:

human growth and development, mental health and disability
social work theories and methods; assessment, planning, intervention and review
communication skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs
law, and partnership working across professional disciplines and agencies
social science research methods, including ethical issues
Practice is central to the programme, and there will be practice placements in two settings and with different service user groups (eg child care and mental health). The learning on the programme builds over the two years and prepares you to apply your knowledge to practice situations. We work closely with a range of practice organisations in the Greater London Area. The placements are allocated by our placement tutor and matched with individual profiles. In some instances you may have to travel long distances to your placement organisation. You will need to cover the cost of travel to your placement. You will be expected to work the core hours.

At Goldsmiths we recognise:

the unique contribution that all students bring as individuals to the programme in terms of their personal qualities and life experiences
that professional training builds on the uniqueness of each individual by facilitating the student’s exploration of the values, knowledge base and skills of Social Work practice
that it is the student’s responsibility not only to develop a technical acquaintance with the framework of Social Work practice but also to demonstrate competence through its application in practice
that Social Workers are at the interface of society’s attempts to promote welfare
Social workers have a dual responsibility to act within the state’s welfare framework and also to recognise the pervasive influence of oppression and discrimination at an individual and a structural level in most of the situations in which they work. We will prepare you for this professional responsibility.

Year 1

In year 1 you are introduced to social work as a professional activity and an academic discipline. You consider key concepts such as the nature of need, community, social work services, and the significance of the service user perspective.

You are also provided with an introduction to: life-span development, assessment in social work and a range of social work intervention approaches. Your assessed practice consists of 70 days spent as a social worker; this gives you the chance to develop your communication and social work practice skills with service users, and to work in partnership across professional disciplines and agencies.

Year 2

Year 2 provides you with an overview of the legal and organisational context of social work, and extends your knowledge and skills in one of the two main specialist areas of social work practice: working with children and families, or working with adults in need. You will work in small groups to explore methods of intervention, research and theories which are relevant to a particular area of social work, while another assessed practice element enables you to meet the professional requirements for social work training via 100 days of practice under the guidance of a practice assessor.

You are expected to demonstrate competence across a range of standards and this is formally assessed. The learning on the MA Social Work programme builds over the two years and prepares you to apply that knowledge to practice situations.

Practice placements

You are required to spend 170 days in practice settings.

In Year 1 there is a practice placement lasting 70 days and in Year 2 the practice placement lasts 100 days. These placements are arranged through the allocation system devised by the College. The practice placements will be supported by 30 days for the development of practice skills.

You have an identified Practice Educator for each of the two practice placements. Most of our placements are located in South East London, so if you live elsewhere you will need to travel.

We have partnership agreements with the following organisations for placements in social work:

London Borough of Brent – Childrens Services
London Borough of Brent – Adults Services
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – Adults Services
London Borough of Lambeth – Childrens Services
London Borough of Southwark – Childrens Services
London Borough of Southwark – Adults Services
London Borough of Lewisham – Childrens Services
London Borough of Lewisham – Adults Services
London Borough of Croydon – Adults Services
Royal Borough of Greenwich – Childrens Services
Royal Borough of Greenwich – Adults Services
London Borough of Bromley – Childrens Services
London Borough of Bromley – Adults Services
NSPCC (London Region)

We also work with about 20-30 voluntary/private social care agencies each year. Here are some that we've worked with recently:

Equinox Care Mental Health Services
Body and Soul HIV Service
Jamma Umoja Family Assessment Services
Advocacy in Greenwich Learning Disability Service
Lewisham Refugee Network
Turning Point Mental Health Services
Carers Lewisham

Assessment

The programme is assessed by a range of methods including essays, assessed role plays, take home papers, project work, a practice based case study, a final year dissertation, and the production of a practice portfolio for each placement.

Assessment of practice is by reports by your Practice Educator. This includes direct observation of your work with service users as well as your practice portfolio, and a narrative giving an evaluation of your work.

Professional standards

Social work is a regulated profession. From 1 August 2012, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) took on the regulation of social workers and the regulation of the performance of social work courses. This means that social work students will need to adhere to the standards set out in the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Guidance on conduct and ethics for students (HCPC 2009), and work towards meeting the HCPC Standards of Proficiency - Social workers in England (HCPC 2012). These are the standards social work students are expected to demonstrate at the end of their last placement/ qualifying level.

Skills

You'll develop the ability to practise social work in a wide variety of settings with different service user groups.

Careers

The programme will enable you to register and practise as a qualified social worker.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

Visit the Social Work (MA) page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

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